Ablaze (Indestructible Trilogy Book 2)

Contents

Title Page

Copyright

About Ablaze

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

Want More?

ABLAZE

The Indestructible Trilogy: Book Two

Emma L. Adams

This book was written, produced and edited in the UK, where some spelling, grammar and word usage will vary from US English.

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma L. Adams

All rights reserved.

 

Cover design by Deranged Doctor Design

Editing by Laura Kingsley

 

 

About Ablaze

 

Two years ago, the fiends invaded Earth. Two months ago, I joined the Pyros, a group of warriors with astonishing powers, to fight the monsters that destroyed our world.

 

But then I found out they were keeping secrets from me. Jared, the sadistic scientist who betrayed them, has captured my ally, who’s linked to me through a blood-connection that’s slowly killing us both. To get him back, I have to leave my new friends and face the wilderness alone. But Jared’s not the only threat out there. The fiends are moving, forces stir on the other side of the divide, and if Jared’s plan succeeds, it’ll spell disaster for our world.

 

And that’s if the dark transformation in my blood doesn’t kill me first.

 

Ablaze
is the second book in the Indestructible trilogy. Start the series with
Indestructible
.
or find the rest of my books on my
Amazon page.

 

To be notified of new releases and get a free short story,
sign up to my author newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

I dream of a world ablaze.

The sky’s a vivid red like the inside of a wound. The outline of a dark figure approaches me. I lie on the ground, the earth rough to touch. A Burned Spot.

As the figure gets closer, my heart skips a beat as I recognise the man.

“I thought you were dead,” I whisper, my voice ragged, my throat drier than the parched earth.

“Did you, now?” Cas gives a soft laugh. “You know I don’t die that easy.’

The dream wavers before my eyes, Cas’s face fading, and I awaken and remember Cas is the enemy’s prisoner.

It’s the third day since I saw him, and I have no idea if he’s alive or dead. Common sense tells me he’s alive. He’s an almost-invincible warrior created in a lab. But I can’t forget the image of his face distorted by pain. Pain from the tattoo marking his arm, a mark that binds him to the enemy. Something tells me his time’s running out.

For the first time since I came back to the base, my body feels like mine again. Three days I’ve lain here in the dormitory in a haze of exhaustion, listening to the others tiptoe around me like ghosts. Murray told me that I overtaxed my powers when I battled the fiends’ leader. I pushed myself too far, beyond what even a Pyro can usually stand. What I did wasn’t normal for a Pyro, though. Not by a long shot.

Then again,
I’m
not normal for a Pyro.

There’s nobody in the dormitory now. The others are probably patrolling. Murray doubled up on security after Jared broke into headquarters. He’s still out there somewhere. And Cas is with him. The man who saved my life by healing me with his blood. The man who gave me his cursed blood and hated himself for it. Now Jared’s prisoner. Jared, who’d have done anything to defeat the fiends, experimenting with fiends’ blood to create his own twisted monsters. Even experimenting on Pyros.

And he wanted
me.

The thought makes me shiver all over. By going back to rescue Cas, I’ll be delivering myself into his hands, exactly as he wants. Murray will never let me go. I had a narrow escape last time already. Just as I’d accepted I had powers far beyond a normal human, Jared shattered that notion in a second when he tortured me. Not only that, he hurt Cas to make a point, and finally forced me to abandon him to close the bridge over the divide before the fiends could invade again.
I did that.
I don’t
feel
superhuman, though I feel much more alive compared to the past few days. I’m not broken, though I went to hell itself. I stared into the fiends’ infernal world, and faced one of their leaders.

I killed a Fiordan.
I’m not sure even the others know what I did. As for
how,
I wish I knew. Even though I know more than I ever thought I would—than I ever
wanted
to know—about where the fiends came from, how they wiped out the human race. But my own powers? I don’t know nearly enough. I might have beaten the Fiordan, but I was powerless to stop Jared taking Cas away.

I sit up, looking around the dorm. Nobody’s here, so it must be the middle of the day. Only Elle’s come to talk to me, chattering away as I lay in a delirium. The others tiptoed around me. I was too out of it to catch their whispers, but I can guess. I don’t know how much Murray told them, but even Poppy and Tyler, my dorm-mates, would be freaked out to know I blasted one of the Fiordans to pieces.

I just hope they forgive me when I walk away without saying goodbye.

I head to the bathroom and take a proper shower to wash every trace of the fiends’ world off me. Then I change into combat gear, plain black clothes. I hesitate before picking up one of the Pyros’ infamous bright-red coats. Generally, Pyros want to draw the fiends’ attention, but that’s not my mission. I leave the coat behind.

The door opens. I freeze.

“Leah?”

It’s Elle. Small, delicate-looking, and smiling at me.

“Hey,” I say, trying to make my tone strong and cheerful as though I haven’t been in a coma for three days.

“You’re leaving, aren’t you?”

I guess she’s not always naïve.

I bow my head and look away. “I have to,” I say, softly.

“Cas is probably dead, Leah.”

I stare at her. Words jump into my head—he’s invincible, he
can’t
be killed. And Elle’s not normally so morose.

“I mean,” she goes on, “dead to us. To you. He’s Jared’s.”

I wince because I know she’s right. Jared has Cas’s life in his hands. Yet I still can’t give him up. Not after what I saw in his memories.

“Sorry, Leah.” She walks over and puts her small arm around me. The mark’s still there, where Nolan cut into her wrist and transferred his own blood in order to make her susceptible to Jared’s control, too, like the other Pyros Jared marked so they’d obey his every command. Pyro blood is powerful, and even from a distance, he can kill anyone marked with his tattoo. Nolan was acting out of desperation when he marked Elle, because he wore Jared’s mark himself and if he didn’t get me and Cas to go with him, Jared would inflict horrible pain on him.

That doesn’t mean I forgive Nolan. Cas had the same marking and he didn’t even mention it. Instead, the pain struck him down at the last second, forcing me to leave him behind. Even though Cas
told
me to leave him, I can’t get his pain-stricken expression out of my head. What good is being indestructible if I couldn’t prevent that happening?

“Wait,” I say. “You said Murray found a way to stop the tattoos working, right?”
Even Cas’s?

Very little can harm Cas. But the tattoo had the same effect as Nolan’s. Agony without end. Even for Pyros.

“My dad’s looking into it,” she mumbles. “But Leah… he’s been with Jared three days already, and you know he’ll be raving mad. Furious. He’ll have been taking it out on Cas.” She trembles all over, and I hold onto her, trembling, too, trying desperately not to picture what Jared might be doing. I’ve seen flashes of it in visions since I passed out, but I can’t always tell the difference between vision and dream.

And that’s another problem I have to contend with. Another reason to seek out Jared.

“Maybe,” I say, my voice shaking, “but I have to try.”

I know the war and the potential invasion should be my priority, because the fiends will be furious with me for closing the bridge. Two years ago, the fiends’ first invasion killed three billion people and destroyed civilisation as we knew it. The Pyros, the only people with the power to fight against the fiends, failed to stop it. This time, I don’t know if my killing the fiends’ leader means they can’t break through again, but I don’t dare even consider forgetting our mission. But neither can I abandon a—friend? I don’t know
what
Cas and I are.

“Leah,” says Elle. “Murray needs you. We all need you. Don’t go.”

Cas needs me. I think.
Even he can’t fight Jared alone, nor escape as long as their lives are tied together. I killed Jared once already. He ought to be dead. And… Cas and I are tied together. Somehow. He can’t be dead if I’m seeing his memories. Right? He’s one of the Pyros’ best soldiers. We’re outnumbered already, even without Jared’s threat as well as the fiends’. If we’re to beat the fiends, we need to be rid of Jared. I tell myself that’s my real motive for leaving—not just because I want to save Cas.

And not because Cas is the key to undoing whatever damage seeing his memories is doing to me. All the other experiments who experienced the same connection lost their sanity and died.

But if I leave without getting as much information as possible, I’ll be wasting my chance and running the risk of ending up at Jared’s mercy once again. Sighing, I turn back to Elle. “I’m not going yet, but I will,” I say. “But first I have to know how to stop the tattoo from working.”

She visibly relaxes. “Ask my dad. I think he’s on patrol. He’s been working double shifts to make sure Jared doesn’t come back.”

My throat closes up. Jared’s invasion shook everything out of sync, even for Elle. She might be Murray’s daughter, but her mother was an ordinary human, and she never awakened as a Pyro like the rest of us. So Murray tried to shelter her. Now she’s seen how ugly the real world is.

I nod. “Okay. I’ll speak to him.”

Elle looks at me with a solemn expression and leads me to his office. Murray’s door lies open. He’s talking to another Pyro, a tall woman with her hair tied into a ponytail. Val. She turns to me, eyebrows lifting.

“Leah?”

“Sorry I ran off,” says Elle. “I wanted to see Leah.”

“Leah,” Murray repeats. He runs a hand through his hair. Lines underscore his eyes, and he seems somehow older than before, even though it’s three days since I last saw him.

“Will I be able to go outside again soon?” I ask. The words come out before I can stop them. He looks at me sharply, as though he knows exactly what I’m thinking. But he also knows I’m not like the other Pyros.

An ocean of unspoken words swirls between us, as I meet his stare defiantly.

“Soon,” he says. “We need to give you a medical evaluation at the very least. You’ve been unconscious for three days. Delirious.”

“It might just have been exhaustion.” Val smiles at me. “I’m looking forward to getting our best warrior back in training.”

Something cracks inside me. Cas is supposed to be the best warrior. And I feel guiltier than ever for considering abandoning these people.

I hesitate, torn in two. “I have to go back in the field eventually,” I point out. “The fiends broke through the divide once. It could easily happen again.”

With a glance at Elle, he sighs. “I know. But if we lose you, Leah, we’ve truly lost to them.”

Other books

Determinant by E. H. Reinhard
Revolution by J.S. Frankel
Spellscribed: Conviction by Kristopher Cruz
Los Borgia by Mario Puzo
Moffie by Andre Carl van der Merwe
Wild Ginger by Anchee Min
For Heaven's Eyes Only by Green, Simon R.
The Bastard King by Dan Chernenko


readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2022